Mobile Home: A factory built housing unit built prior to June 15, 1976 before the Housing and Urban Development code came into effect. (example: 1975 singlewide or doublewide home). – source
The first examples of mobile homes can be traced back to the roaming bands of gypsies, who traveled with their horse drawn mobile homes as far back as the 1500s. In America, the first mobile homes were built in the 1870’s, these were movable beach front properties, built in the Outer Banks region of North Carolina. The homes were moved by teams of horses.
Mobile homes as we know them today began in 1926, with automobile-pulled trailers or “Trailer Coaches”, designed as a home away from home during camping trips. The trailers evolved into “Mobile Homes” brought into demand after World War II ended. Veterans came home to needing housing and finding it in short supply. “Mobile Homes” provided cheap and quickly built housing for the Veterans and their families (the beginning of the baby boom) and being mobile allowed the families to travel where the jobs were.
By 1943, trailers averaged a width of 8ft and were over 20ft in length, they had up to 3 to 4 separate sleeping sections but no bathrooms. By 1948, lengths had reached up to 30ft and bathrooms were introduced. Mobile homes continued to grow in length and widths such as doublewide.
In June of 1976, the United States Congress passed the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Act (42 U.S.C.), which assured that all homes were built to tough national standards. In 1980, Congress approved changing the term ‘Mobile Home’ to ‘Manufactured Home’.